Maternal Ecohealth Lens: A Pathway to Food Security

TWG member, Erlinda Bitigan assisting fellow mother from Brgy. San Ildefonso, Casiguran in her pre-test during the implementation of the Communication Education and Public Awareness Campaign on Maternal Ecohealth

The coastal province of Aurora faces challenges in food security and nutrition where protein deficiency among mothers is common while stunting and wasting are prevalent among children due to several factors that promote decline in natural resources. Most Indigenous and artisanal communities in Aurora rely on natural resources for nourishment through fishing, farming and gathering of forest products. However, the current mindset is to go along with whatever the changes in season and climate can put on the table. Efforts disregard planning for nutritious diet and food security which negatively affects the health and well-being of communities.

In 2016, seven-day maternal diet assessments of coastal mothers in the province indicated protein intakes are only 20—25% of international/national maternal recommendations (DOST-FNRI and International Standards), exasperated by seasonal typhoons and related depletion in fish catch.

In partnership with Korea SHE Foundation, Daluhay implemented a 5-month seed project that aims to alleviate this problem using an Ecohealth lens that links the health of the people and that of the environment. We focus on mothers of the household who play central roles in family values, decision making and nutrition; thus, enabling  mothers to take the lead in food security and good health of the community. 


Daluhay worked with Indigenous maternal community leaders to raise the awareness of their community in the health of families and that of the environment they depend upon. The technical working group (TWG) of Agta mothers in Brgy. San Ildefonso in Casiguran formed, welcomed a leadership role in the project implementation and completed relevant capacity building workshops facilitated by the NGO. They led the conduct of a survey on the Knowledge, Attitudes & Practices of pregnant & lactating mothers in their barangay towards health and the environment to understand the current situation in detail. The results of the survey were used as bases for the TWG to plan a Communication Education and Public Awareness Campaign (CEPA) for the survey respondents. A Maternal Ecohealth Workshop was successfully conducted using multimedia in the form of lectures, games, a video, a song & open forum.